Advocacy

CSPF is dedicated to advocating for legislation and policy changes to advance our mission of protecting and enhancing the California state parks system.

To advance our policy goals, CSPF works with policymakers at the state, federal and local levels.

We also encourage our park partners, members and park supporters throughout California to become engaged in our grassroots advocacy efforts.

Citizen Action

CSPF encourages our park partners, members and park supporters throughout California to become engaged in our grassroots advocacy efforts to advance our mission of protecting and enhancing the California state parks system.

Each year over 100 park advocates from throughout California participate in Park Advocacy Day to meet with legislators and lobby in support of California’s 279 state parks.

By participating in Park Advocacy Day, you’ll help send a powerful message to policymakers that California’s state parks are important places that need to be protected. Your knowledge and first-hand experience will be imperative as we work to make this the most successful Park Advocacy Day yet!

Participants come from a variety of backgrounds and affiliations, and typically include representatives of environmental, recreational and other state park related nonprofit organizations and state park cooperating associations, as well as local business leaders, educators, park volunteers, and state park users.

For more information about CSPF’s advocacy work, please contact advocacy@calparks.org or call our Sacramento office at 916-442-2119

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Legislative Agenda

As part of our role in advancing state parks issues for the last decade, CSPF has provided leadership in lobbying the California legislature on relevant bills and budget actions as well as proactively sponsoring legislation. CSPF has sponsored legislation to achieve park protection as well as facilitate fiscal sustainability for the state park system.

In addition to sponsoring legislation, CSPF also maintains regular communication with key policy committee members and provides testimony to legislative hearings and coordinates with other like-minded organizations on policy priorities.

Current Legislative Bills

Senate Bill 705 (Ben Allen) — Solid waste: expanded polystyrene food service containers

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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CSPF was proud to support Proposition 67, which passed in 2016 and prohibits the use of single-use plastic bags at grocery stores. Expanded polystyrene takeout food packaging is a statewide problem that is toxic to humans, pollutes coastal and inland waterways, litters our streets at great cost to ratepayers, kills wildlife, and impairs the ability of communities to comply with storm water regulations.  Up to 80% of ocean pollution is litter from urban runoff, and non-recyclable single-use food packaging is a primary component of urban litter that residents pay to remove.  Single-use food packaging litter is consistently in the top ten items found at beach and river cleanups.

Senate Bill 705 (Allen) would add to these efforts, and phase out takeout expanded polystyrene and non-recyclable plastic food packaging and creates a unified statewide policy that will protect consumers, reduce unrecyclable or compostable waste, and safeguard our parks, open space, coasts and inland waterways.

Senate Bill 5 (Kevin de León) — California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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Senate Bill 18 (de León) gives California voters the oppurunity in June 2018 to voice their support local, regional and state parks and drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access for all programs. Now is the time to reinvest in California’s natural and historic infrastructure – including significant investments into California’s state park system. Unfortunately, with an aging state park infrastructure, our parks continue to need critical repairs that will keep them available and well maintained. It has been 15 years since California voters approved the last legislatively crafted park bond Proposition 40.

CSPF supports both park bond bills, Assembly Bill 18 (Garcia) and Senate Bill 5 (de León). Ultimately only one of these bond bills will be delivered to the Governor’s desk for approval before California voters in 2018 could be asked to support their state parks.

Senate Bill 365 (Bill Dodd) — Regional park and open-space districts: County of Solano

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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Solano County is currently the only Bay Area County without a Regional Parks and Open Space District. Senate Bill 365 (Dodd) is needed to allow the County to move forward with the process to create a dependent Regional Parks and Open-Space District. CSPF is supportive of this effort, Senate Bill 365 (Dodd) will increase access to public lands, and create new opportunities for the Solano County to enhance existing parks and open spaces. 

Assembly Bill 250 (Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher) — State Coastal Conservancy: Lower Cost Coastal Accommodations Program

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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Assembly Bill 250 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) requires the Coastal Conservancy establish a program to expand the availability of low coast overnight accommodations on the coast.  A recent joint study by UCLA and San Francisco State University found that 75 percent of Californians view the high cost of overnight coastal accommodations as a barrier to coastal access. In the last three decades, nearly 25,000 economy hotel/motel rooms have been eliminated, and today fewer than 5 percent of coastal accommodations can be considered economy. Fees for a developed campsite at a state park on the coast currently range from $40 to $65 per night and the demand for these campsites is so high that they often sell out 6 months in advance. This combination has created a situation where far too many Californians are unable to visit the coast and receive the health, wellness and recreational benefits that come with those experiences.

We strongly support Assembly Bill 250 (Gonzalez-Fletcher) for its efforts to break down the economic barriers that are preventing equitable access to California’s coast.

Assembly Bill 18 (Eduardo Garcia) — California Clean Water, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018

Current Status: Senate Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Support
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Assembly Bill 18 places a bond before voters in June 2018 to support local, regional, and state parks. Decreases in annual operating funding has resulted in a deferred maintenance backlog that exceeds $1 billion. Critical funds are sorely needed to help increase park access for all Californians and to protect the natural, cultural and historical resources in our state parks.

CSPF supports both park bond bills, Assembly Bill 18 (Garcia) and Senate Bill 5 (de León). Ultimately only one of these bond bills will be delivered to the Governor’s desk for approval before California voters in 2018 could be asked to support their state parks. 

Assembly Bill 1083 (Autumn Burke) — Transportation electrification: electric vehicle charging infrastructure: state parks and beaches

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Watching
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The state of California has set an ambitious goal of 1.5 million Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) on our roads by the year 2025.  ZEVs use low carbon fuels are a vital component of the state’s effort to reach its Green House Gas emission reduction goals. In order to achieve this goal, California estimates that by mid-century, 87% of cars on the road will need to be full ZEVs. There are still barriers to consumers for the adoption of ZEVs including cost, financing, and range anxiety as a result of a lack of an adequate charging network.

The bill would require each electrical corporation to develop a plan to create a robust charging network at all state parks and beaches within its service territory, by July 31, 2018.  The development of more ZEV charging stations in long-dwell locations, such as state parks and beaches, may provide an additional incentive for drivers to adopt ZEVs.

Assembly Bill 1281 (Monique Limón) — State parks: climate change: study

Current Status: Assembly Appropriations
CSPF's Position: Watching
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California’s state park system encompasses over 1.5 million acres, including 1,100 miles of coastline.  This bill would require the Department of Parks and Recreation to complete a study that includes recommendations for further action that may be necessary to address the impacts of climate change on the state parks system.  The findings of this study may help shape policies to protect our parks, and may also support a better understanding on the many ways in which the preservation and protection of state parks are helping climate-threatened species to survive, and can help offset Green House Gasses.

California State Budget

California State Budget

California's state parks system is in critical need of funding to address the ever-growing backlog of deferred maintenance projects and update aging park infrastructure. This year we lobbied in support of Governor Brown's $20 million General Fund appropriation to address deferred maintenance backlog in state parks. We are pleased that the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) did receive authority for a modest, one-time infusion of State Park & Recreation Fund (SPRF) funding to maintain current operations. In addition to the $10 million toward outdoor environmental and recreation programs discussed earlier, the budget also included funding for two projects that CSPF has helped support: to open the new museum at Donner Memorial State Park and to re-open Los Angeles State Historic Park, which has been undergoing construction over the last year.

Annually, CSPF monitors the budget and regularly meets with key legislators and staff to advocate for policy and budget changes related to fiscal sustainability for our state park system. CSPF's primary focus in monitoring the budget is to help determine ways to improve the management, operations and access to our state parks.

The Department of Parks and Recreation's (DPR) budget is primarily comprised of General Fund appropriations, funds from the State Parks and Recreation Fund (SPRF), special funds and, when available, bond funds. Revenues in the SPRF are derived largely from user fees collected throughout the state park system, such as fees for day-use admission or parking, overnight camping or boating. Bond funds are available to the Department of Parks and Recreation as a result of voter-passed bonds, the most recent being Propositions 12, 40, 50 and 84.

As reported from the State Department of Finance:

The California Department of Parks and Recreation operates the state's park system to preserve and protect the State's most values natural, cultural and historical resources. Governor Jerry Brown's May Revision includes total funding of $553.3 million ($115.9 million General Fund and $436.4 million other funds) to support the Department. The current budget for the Department of Parks and Recreation can be found here.

California State Parks Foundation

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